How to vote
If you are on the electoral register you will be sent a poll card just before an election. You can vote:
- In person
- By post
- By proxy
Voting in person
White poll cards are issued to electors who vote in person at a polling station, and this card will state where your polling station is and when you can vote. On the day of the election you should go to your designated polling station between 7am and 10pm to cast your vote. Tell the staff inside the polling station your name and address so that they can check you are on the register and eligible to vote. It is helpful to bring along your poll card but it is not essential if you don’t bring it along.
Voting by post or proxy
Applying to vote by post
- Download and print your own form
If you want to vote by post an application form is available to download and print here.
You must complete the application form in full using black ink, providing your signature and date of birth. This information is needed to prevent fraud. Special arrangements are in place if you’re unable to provide a signature. Please call us on 0800 393 783 for further details. If you have chosen to vote by post you will receive a lilac poll card.
If you would prefer, you can return the completed application form to any of our offices by post or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org – we can only accept black & white clear scanned images under 10MB. Contact details can be found here
Royal Mail Priority Post Boxes
Royal Mail has 35,000 priority post boxes. These post boxes have late collection times and in many cases will also have earlier collection times. To find a priority post box in your area please click on the link below:
- Request a paper application to vote by post
If you are unable to download the application form, a postal vote can be posted to your home address or any other address specified by you, including overseas. For a paper form please call us on 0800 393 783 or email us at email@example.com
IMPORTANT: You will need to consider if there would be time for you to receive and return your ballot papers by polling day. If you have been sent a postal vote, you cannot vote in person at a polling station.
Cancelling your postal vote
If you wish to cancel your postal vote, we will require a letter from you with a penned signature asking for this to be carried out. During an election period, postal votes can be cancelled up to 11 working days before the poll.
Applying to vote by proxy
You can also arrange to vote by proxy at a particular election or referendum, meaning another person is authorised to vote on your behalf. A signature and date of birth are also required for proxy voters.
Alternatively call us on 0800 393 783 to request a paper application form to be posted to you.
In some circumstances, an emergency proxy may be granted by the Electoral Registration Officer if you are unable to vote in person due to the following:
- In the case of a medical condition, illness or disability arising after the deadline for ordinary proxy applications
- Are a mental health patient detained under civil powers
- If your occupation, service or employment means you cannot go to the polling station in person and you only become aware of this after the deadline for ordinary proxy applications
Both you and your proxy must be registered and eligible to vote.
The deadline for ordinary proxy applications is 5pm, on the sixth working day before the poll. You can apply up until 5pm on the day of the poll.
Further information on emergency proxies can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website
Application forms for emergency proxies can be found in our list of applications below. Details of how to return your form can be found on the notes pages of the application forms.
If you have a learning disability, you can follow the step-by-step easy read guide on how to register to vote online.
View our full list of application forms
- Application to vote by post
- Application to vote by proxy at a particular election
- Application to vote by proxy as a Crown servant, British Council employee or their spouse or civil partner
- Application to vote by proxy for a British citizen living overseas
- Application to vote by proxy for a member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces
- Application to vote by proxy based on disability
- Application to vote by proxy due to attendance on an educational course
- Application to vote by proxy due to employment
- Application by a proxy to vote by post
- Application to change an existing proxy at a Scottish election
- Application to vote by emergency proxy (disability)
- Application to vote by emergency proxy (occupation, service or employment)
- Application to vote by emergency proxy based on imprisonment in Scotland
- Opt out form